The Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) has decided not to field candidates for elections to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), scheduled to be held on January 8, after Orissa High Court rejected its petition to use ‘kite’ symbol.
OJM president Pyarimohan Mohapatra said the decision was taken after consultations with party leaders and workers.
Workers of the OJM wanted to contest the BMC polls as party candidates and not as independents, Pyari said.
The OJM chief, however, said his party would launch a campaign against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in BMC area. “The party will not contest the polls, but will campaign requesting people not to vote for BJD,” he said.
The OJM had stayed away from first and second phase elections of urban local body (ULB) polls in coastal and western Odisha districts as the party was yet to get its symbol from the Election Commission.
The OJM was allotted the kite symbol by the EC on December 12.
However, the OJM had filed a petition against the statement of the State Election Commission (SEC) that it cannot contest the ensuing BMC polls with ‘kite’ as its party symbol. The petition was rejected by the High Court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister will formally launch campaigning for BMC polls after the last date of withdrawal of candidature on December 26.
The BJD and the Congress have already finalised their list of candidates. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das said all senior leaders of the party, including Naveen, will campaign for the BJD candidates.
The SEC sources said 90 candidates filed their nomination papers on Thursday taking the total to 120. Filing of nomination papers will continue till December 20.